Saturday, December 13, 2008


I was minding my own business on holiday slide duty--which duty consists of yelling "YAYYYYYY!!!!" each time a pair of children arrives at the bottom of the ginormous slide, then quickly but politely booting them out of the way so they don't get kicked by the next pair down--when I got the word that I was needed back up in the exhibits department. A reporter from NPR was doing a segment on technology in museums and wanted to get audio of kids testing an activity prototype. As I was the only one with a hi-tech activity nearing completion, I got tapped. Thrilling for me, of course, since I'm a fan and supporter of all things NPR. (Though I fell off listening as much during the late Bush administration; if I left my alarm clock on Morning Edition during the last couple years I was often then too depressed to get out of bed. But I'm back on track now, and I love going through the online archives for cool stuff that I've missed on TAL and All Things. Anyway.) Turned out I need not have left off "YAAAAYYYYY" duty, as it didn't need to be recorded then and there--and as it happened, the lead time getting the program installed on a laptop and hooked to the giant touchscreen monitor we use for testing was pretty substantial. It was ready about 5 minutes before we needed it. Yeesh.

So said NPR reporter got some entertaining audio of me propelling kids through playing a crude prototype of the catapult game. I could not have asked for better test groups; I got some ragingly excited 9 year olds, both girls and boys. They loved it, and one even figured out what the activity was FOR (that's the brass ring we strive for, of course.) Not bad considering that it's pretty emphatically Not Done Yet. She also captured a good deal of me babbling about technology in museums and why it's cool in a children's museum context particularly. I have no idea what I said, but I sure hope it sounded smart...